ROBOTICS 2022–2023: SUPERPOWERED!

It’s time to start getting energized for the 2022-2023 robotics season! This year’s theme is SuperPowered and all levels will be exploring energy and how it affects our lives!

Below are descriptions of the different team levels offered at Holy Spirit and a link to a form to fill out if your child is interested. If there are enough students interested at a given level and at least one volunteer to coach the team, you will be sent a link to register and pay for robotics sometime in mid to late August.  

We participate in challenges created by FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). This program encourages students to grow in their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an environment that encourages cooperation within competitions. Students are expected to demonstrate both Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism within their teams and at community events. A summary of each level is linked below.

For more information about FIRST Robotics and the different levels offered, check out the FIRST website. For more information about Holy Spirit's program, email Rebecca Dennis-Johnson.
 

FIRST Lego League Explore (Grades 1-3) – SuperPowered!!

This year, teams will be exploring where energy comes from and how it is distributed, stored and used. Teams will consist of 4-6 team members and will meet once a week for about an hour. They will have an opportunity to share what they have built with the Holy Spirit community as well as attend an Expo at the end of their season where they will have an opportunity to show judges what they have learned. The Expo is generally on a weekend morning. The date and location will be determined this fall and depend on COVID levels and coach preferences.

Coaching at this level requires no special technical skills. A coach’s manual, student journals and building materials are provided. The commitment is one day a week for about an hour for 6-8 weeks and attendance at the Expo. If your child is interested in participating, please fill out the form linked below. Once we have a minimum of 4 students and a coach, you will be sent a link to register your child and pay the registration fee. Please note, five students were left on a waiting list at this level last year, so register early!

The registration fee will be $100 this year. 

FLL Explore Interest Form

 

FIRST Lego League Challenge (Grades 4-5) – Cargo Connect

At this level, students are in teams of 4-8 students using a LEGO Mindstorms or Spike Prime robot and meeting 1-2 times a week for an hour or two. A list of challenges for the robot to complete is created by FIRST with each separate challenge assigned point values. The team chooses challenges to work on to earn points during their tournament. They will also work on a project connected to the year’s theme of energy! They will explore where energy comes from and how it is distributed, stored and used. Each team will participate in one day-long tournament where they will have about 5 opportunities to earn points on the challenge board. In addition, they will meet with several sets of judges where they will present their project, discuss their design process and solve a challenge to show the judges how they work together using Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism. Tournament dates will be determined this fall.

Due to rising registration and tournament costs, the registration fee will be $110 this year. 

Anyone can coach at this level as long as they are willing to learn with the team. Tutorials and workshops are available and we have middle school students who are willing to help teams get started. We currently have one Spike Prime robot, which is the updated version used at this level, for one team to use. If enough participants register or if parents are willing to chip in, we can buy a second Spike robot for the other team.

FLL Challenge Interest Form
 

First Tech Challenge (Grades 6-8) – Power Play

This year, teams will reimagine the future of sustainable energy, connecting to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #7. We will look at how to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable modern energy for everyone—and create a robot to play the connected game. It should be an awesome season!

At this level, students move away from LEGOs and build a robot using a REV robotics base which they drive on the playing field. FIRST designs a game and the team creates a robot to compete in this game. Four robots are on the board at a time, with each robot assigned randomly to either the red or blue team. Each team plays the game 4-5 times and points accumulate throughout the tournament. In addition to the game, teams are required to document their design process through an engineering notebook, work to educate their community about the importance of STEM and this year’s theme, and demonstrate the qualities of Coopertition and Gracious Professionalism. They meet with judges to discuss these things in the morning and play their rounds of the game in the late morning and afternoon. In the past, the Holy Spirit Team has won awards for team spirit and a video they did on their mentor.  

We need students with a variety of skills for this team. We need:

  • Creative thinkers to come up with design solutions
  • Builders to put together structures on the robot
  • Programmers who can program the robot to use what is built
  • Writers to keep the engineering notebook up to date and write a script for the judges’ presentation
  • Artists who can draw diagrams of what the team wants to do and create a visual display of our outreach
  • Drivers to manipulate the robot during competitions
  • Leaders who can guide the team, keep members on track and perform outreach within our community

We compete in two competitions at this level. Because we are on the younger end of the scale, the first competition is a learning experience. Students come away from it better understanding the game and what the judges are looking for. They can then make changes to their robot, engineering notebook and judges’ presentations before participating in the next competition. The cost is greater here because we need a budget for additional materials and have to pay for two competitions. The cost will be $125 per student and will cover registration, tournament fees, and a team t-shirt. Any additional money will be spent on parts of the robots.

Coaching at this level mainly involves keeping students focused on the task at hand. Coaches or mentors with mechanical and programming knowledge are helpful, even if they cannot make every meeting

FTC Interest Form